The First Khandhaka Sections 31–35
Admission to the Order of Bhikkhus

The First Khandhaka is the first part of the Mahavagga.
The Mahavagga is the first part of the Khandhaka.
The Khandhaka is the second part of the Vinaya Pitaka ("Basket of Discipline").
The Vinaya Pitaka is the first part of the Tipitaka ("Three Baskets"), a.k.a. the Pali Canon.
The Tipitaka is the major religious text of Theravada Buddhism.

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The First Khandhaka (Pali for "Expositions") is quite a long piece (the longest of the four Khandhakas in the Mahavagga), divided into seventy-nine parts, containing stories concerning the origin of the rules of the Patimokkha by giving an account of what the Buddha did following his enlightenment. This excerpt contains more rules for the institution of upagghâyas (teachers) and saddhivihârikas (students).

The text was translated by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg in 1881; the translation is in the public domain. It was taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe13/index.htm. Text in [square brackets] (and all pipelinks) was added and does not appear in the translation; text in (parentheses) does appear in the translation.


31

1 At that time a certain youth came to the Bhikkhus and asked them to be ordained. The Bhikkhus told him the (four) Resources before his ordination. Then he said: 'If you had told me the Resources, venerable Sirs, after my ordination, I should have persisted (in the religious life); but now, venerable Sirs, I will not be ordained; the Resources are repulsive and loathsome to me.'

The Bhikkhus told this thing to the Blessed One.

'You ought not, O Bhikkhus, to tell the Resources (to the candidates) before their ordination. He who does, is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you tell the Resources (to the newly-ordained Bhikkhus) immediately after their upasampadâ.'

2 At that time some Bhikkhus performed the upasampadâ service with a chapter of two or three Bhikkhus.

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'Let no one, O Bhikkhus, receive the upasampadâ ordination before a chapter of less than ten Bhikkhus. He who performs the upasampadâ service (with a smaller number of Bhikkhus), is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe you, O Bhikkhus, the holding of upasampadâ services with a chapter of ten Bhikkhus or more than ten.'

3 At that time some Bhikkhus conferred the upasampadâ ordination on their saddhivihârikas one or two years after their own upasampadâ. Thus also the venerable Upasena Vangantaputta conferred the upasampadâ ordination on a saddhivihârika of his one year after his own upasampadâ. When he had concluded the vassa residence, after two years from his own upasampadâ had elapsed, he went with his saddhivihârika, who had completed the first year after his upasampadâ, to the place where the Blessed One was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Blessed One, he sat down near him.

4 Now it is the custom of the blessed Buddhas to exchange greeting with incoming Bhikkhus. And the Blessed One said to the venerable Upasena Vangantaputta: 'Do things go well with you, Bhikkhu? Do you get enough to support your life? Have you made your journey with not too great fatigue?'

'Things go pretty well with us, Lord; we get enough, Lord, to support our life, and we have made our journey, Lord, with not too great fatigue.' The Tathâgatas sometimes ask about what they know; sometimes they do not ask about what they know. They understand the right time when to ask, and they understand the right time when not to ask. The Tathâgatas put questions full of sense, not void of sense; to what is void of sense the bridge is pulled down for the Tathâgatas. For two purposes the blessed Buddhas put questions to the Bhikkhus, when they intend to preach the doctrine or when they intend to institute a rule of conduct to their disciples.

5 And the Blessed One said to the venerable Upananda Vangantaputta: 'How many years have you completed, O Bhikkhu, since your upasampadâ?'

'Two years, Lord.'

'And how many years has this Bhikkhu completed?'

'One year, Lord.'

'In what relation does this Bhikkhu stand to you?'

'He is my saddhivihârika, Lord.'

Then the blessed Buddha rebuked him: 'This is improper, O foolish one, unbecoming, unsuitable, unworthy of a Samana, unallowable, and to be avoided. How can you, O foolish one, who ought to receive exhortation and instruction from others, think yourself fit for administering exhortation and instruction to another Bhikkhu? Too quickly, O foolish one, have you abandoned yourself to the ambition of collecting followers. This will not do (&c.: as in [1st Khandhaka 30:3]). Let no one, O Bhikkhus, confer the upasampadâ ordination who has not completed ten years. He who does, is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that only he who has completed ten years or more than ten years, may confer the upasampadâ ordination.'

6 At that time ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus (who said), 'We have completed ten years (since our upasampadâ), we have completed ten years,' conferred the upasampadâ ordination; (thus) ignorant upagghâyas were found and clever saddhivihârikas; unlearned upagghâyas were found and learned saddhivihârikas; upagghâyas were found who had small knowledge, and saddhivihârikas who had great knowledge; foolish upagghâyas were found and wise saddhivihârikas. And a certain Bhikkhu who had formerly belonged to a Titthiya school, when his upagghâya remonstrated with him (on certain offences) according to the Dhamma, brought his upagghâya (by reasoning) to silence and went back to that same Titthiya school.

7 The moderate Bhikkhus were annoyed, murmured, and became angry: 'How can those ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus confer the upasampadâ ordination (saying); "We have completed ten years, we have completed ten years?" (Thus) ignorant upagghâyas are found and clever saddhivihârikas (&c., down to:), foolish upagghâyas are found and wise saddhivihârikas.'

These Bhikkhus told, &c.

'Is it true, O Bhikkhus, &c.?'

'It is true, Lord.'

8 Then the blessed Buddha rebuked those Bhikkhus: 'How can these foolish persons, O Bhikkhus, confer the upasampadâ ordination (saying), "We have, &c?" (Thus) ignorant upagghâyas are found, &c. This will not do, O Bhikkhus, for converting the unconverted and for augmenting the number of the converted.'

Having rebuked those Bhikkhus and delivered a religious discourse, he thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'Let no ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, confer the upasampadâ ordination. If he does, he is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that only a learned, competent Bhikkhu who has completed ten years, or more than ten years, may confer the upasampadâ ordination.'

32

1 At that time some Bhikkhus whose upagghâyas were gone away, or had returned to the world, or had died, or were gone over to a (schismatic) faction, as they had no âkariyas ["teacher"; âkariyas and upagghâyas have identical duties to their students (antevâsikas and saddhivihârika, respectively) but for some reason, an âkariya is seen as inferior to an upagghâya] and received no exhortation and instruction, went on their rounds for alms wearing improper under and upper garments (&c., as in chap. 25. 1-6, down to:), he thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, (that young Bhikkhus choose) an âkariya.

'The âkariya, O Bhikkhus, ought to consider the antevâsika (i.e. disciple) as a son; the antevâsika ought to consider the âkariya as a father. Thus these two, united by mutual reverence, confidence, and communion of life, will progress, advance, and reach a high stage in this doctrine and discipline.

'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you live (the first) ten years in dependence (on an âkariya); he who has completed his tenth year may give a nissaya ["dependence", the relationship between an âkariya and an antevâsika] himself.

2 'And let (the antevâsika), O Bhikkhus, choose his âkariya in this way: Let him adjust his upper robe so as to cover one shoulder, salute the feet (of the âkariya), sit down squatting, raise his joined hands, and say: "Venerable Sir, be my âkariya, I will live in dependence on you, Sir."' (This formula is repeated thrice.)

'(If the other answers): "Well" (&c., as in [1st Khandhaka 25:7]).

3 'The antevâsika, O Bhikkhus, ought to observe a strict conduct towards his âkariya' (&c., as in [1st Khandhaka 25:8–24]).

End of the duties towards an âkariya.

33

'The âkariya, O Bhikkhus, ought to observe a strict conduct towards his antevâsika' (&c., as in [1st Khandhaka 26]).

End of the duties towards an antevâsika.

End of the sixth Bhânavâra.

34

At that time the antevâsikas did not observe a proper conduct towards their âkariyas (&c., as in [1st Khandhaka 27:1–8]).

35

1, 2 At that time ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus (who said), 'We have completed ten years (since our upasampadâ), we have completed ten years,' gave a nissaya (i.e. they received young Bhikkhus as their antevâsikas); (thus) ignorant âkariyas were found and clever antevâsikas; unlearned âkariyas were found and learned antevâsikas; âkariyas were found who had small knowIedge, and antevâsikas who had great knowledgc; foolish âkariyas were found and wise antevâsikas. The moderate Bhikkhus were annoyed (&c., as in [1st Khandhaka 31:7, 8]).

'Let no ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, give a nissaya. If he does, he is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that only a learned, competent Bhikkhu who has completed ten years, or more than ten years, may give a nissaya.

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